John Shiklam in Kaduna
The Kaduna state government has imposed curfew throughout the state, following the non-compliance to measures adopted to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The deputy governor of the state, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe who announced the imposition of the curfew yesterday in state-wide broadcast, said the decision was in line with the 1999 Constitution.
She said the decision was “in exercise of the powers vested on the Governor by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria1999, (as amended), Sections 2 and 8 of the Quarantine Act 1926 and the Kaduna State Public Health Law of 1917.’’
Balarabe said the state has therefore “been declared a public health area, COVID-19, is hereby declared as a dangerous, infectious disease within the meaning of the Quarantine Act.”
According to her, the State Standing Committee on COVID-19 prevention met yesterday to review the global and national developments relating to the pandemic.
She said “the committee also considered reports of unsatisfactory compliance levels with the preventive measures that have been outlined by the government in repeated announcements and with increasing severity, over the past seven days.’’
The deputy governor noted that apart from flouting the directive against large gatherings, ‘’there were also reports of certain persons not obeying the ban announced on motorcycle taxis and ‘Keke-Napep ’tricycles.’’
She declared that ‘’from midnight of Thursday, March 26, 2020, all residents of Kaduna State must stay at home. No offices, businesses of any sort or places of worship are allowed to open.’’
Balarabe said “the only category of persons exempted (from the curfew), are workers on essential services such as health workers, the fire service and security personnel.’’
The deputy governor warned that the curfew will be strictly enforced by security agencies, adding that ‘’they have clear directives for the immediate arrest and prosecution of any person that violates these measures.”
She said ‘’Churches and Mosques will be shut; there will be no congregational prayers or services either within these places of worship or outdoors.
‘’Wedding events and all social gatherings are strictly prohibited while these emergency measures remain in place”.
Balarabe further warned that “any place of worship, event centre or place that hosts social gatherings will be in violation of its term of grant and therefore risks forfeiting its title and having the site of the office removed.”
She noted that Kaduna state is a transit route to other states, saying that those passing through Kaduna city will be allowed, provided that such vehicles ply only the western bye-pass.
According to her, government recognises that this lockdown will have consequences on everyone, especially the vulnerable persons in the communities, adding that
government will procure food and other items to cushion the effect of the lock down on vulnerable persons.